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Unilateral Sanctions Killing Most Vulnerable, Violate Human Rights, Argues UN Rapporteur

Dec. 12, 2020 (EIRNS)— Unilateral sanctions kill, sicken and starve people in the nations that are targeted and make humanitarian work increasingly difficult and risky, said UN Special Rapporteur Alena Douhan, regarding the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights. In a report on Dec. 10, Douhan, who is from Belarus, wrote:

“I have called for curtailing the use of sanctions that undermine the ability of targeted countries to fight the pandemic. Unfortunately, the level of international solidarity and cooperation today is not sufficient as these calls did not have much result. A number of countries did not lift or minimize but rather expanded the application of unilateral sanctions using new forms, types, means and mechanisms, and affecting new types of targets.... Unilateral sanctions, imposed against about 20% of UN Member States, exacerbate the calamities it is causing and thus discriminate against populations in targeted countries.”

Douhan warned that it “is not possible to achieve any ‘common good’ purposes ... by violating the human rights of those whom unilateral sanctions seek to protect,” and appealed to nations to “consider urgent steps ... to prioritize saving lives in the course of COVID-19 over political, economic and other interests.”

Douhan has 15 proposals to deal with this crisis. At the core is her demand that “the whole system of unilateral sanctions shall be reviewed in accordance with the rules of international law, including humanitarian, refugee and human rights law.”

RT reports that the document does not name any country, but that Douhan participated last month in a web seminar where she gave many examples of how the United States deploys unilateral sanctions with devastating effect.

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